Connected to a district heating network, CHP can provide heat and power to multiple customers in city centres, towns, villages, industrial zones and other built environments with a dense ‘heat load’, this being a high concentrated demand for heat.
Profile: District heating across Sheffield
Sheffield's district heating network is the largest in the UK. It was established in 1988 and is still expanding today. The scheme is operated by Veolia Environmental Services under contract, on behalf of Sheffield City Council. It saves an equivalent 21,000 plus tonnes of CO2 each year when compared to conventional sources of energy – electricity from the national grid and heat generated by individual boilers.
There are currently over 140 buildings connected to the district heating network that benefit from using the low carbon energy providing the scheme, generated from Sheffield’s own residual waste. These include city landmarks such as the Sheffield City Hall, the Lyceum Theatre and its two universities, in addition to a wide variety of other buildings such as hospitals, flats, shops, offices and leisure facilities. Some 2,800 residential households, mainly in flats, benefit from connection to the scheme across Sheffield. In a typical year around 120,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) of heat is delivered to customers.
More than 44km of underground pipes deliver energy which is generated at Sheffield’s Energy Recovery Facility. This converts a staggering 225,000 tonnes of waste into energy, producing up to 60 MWe of thermal energy and up to 19 MWe of electrical energy. This adds to the environmental benefits of the scheme, ensuring waste material that would otherwise have gone to landfill can be harnessed as a valuable energy resource for the benefit of the local community. The city now sends less than 15% of its waste to landfill (the second lowest level in the UK).
Example of district heating pipes being installed.